The captain of the Prodigal Son has a deserved reputation as the deadliest (and best dressed) pirate in the Caribbean, but Robert St. Armand’s totally at sea when it comes to “Marauding Mattie”, the daughter he never knew he had. How in the world can he deal with the littlest pirate, one who prefers knife-throwing to arithmetic lessons, and who’d rather be keelhauled than eat her beets? He needs help!
Lydia Burke is living a safe life, separated from England by an entire ocean. It’s exactly what she needs and she’s not going to risk her boring, but secure, position as a governess to consort with pirates, especially one who’s too pretty for his own good or her peace of mind.
No self-respecting governess would be willing to come aboard the notorious Prodigal Son, but Robert didn’t fight his way to the top by letting small obstacles like scruples stop him. If he can’t hire Lydia Burke, he’ll steal her and take her to England with them, certain he can charm her into his bed along the way as an added bonus on the voyage.
It will be a true voyage of discovery for the pirate and the governess, as one learns to navigate the rocky shoals of parenthood while the other tries to keep deadly secrets hidden, and both will find that while it’s a child who initially brings them together, the growing passion between them offers the greatest temptation.
I always look forward to reading about pirates when Darlene Marshall is the author. I always have to link back to my review of her book Sea Change because that book is so awesome and I re-read it still. So go read that book too. LOL
Robert St. Armand’s life is about to change. He has just found out that he has a nine year old daughter. Her mother has died and her governess has hunted him down. Lydia, the governess, loves Mattie but she will not return to England, which is where Robert is headed. Robert tries to get Lydia to stay on as Mattie’s governess but she’s taken a job elsewhere. But Robert is a pirate and he’s not about to let Lydia get away. But even kidnapping her off her ship won’t get Lydia on his side.
Lydia hated having to say goodbye to sweet little Maddie but she absolutely could not return to England. And when the pirate kidnaps her, she refuses to tell him why. But they do end up striking up a bargain and Lydia and Mattie take to the pirate ship like fish to water. LOL And Robert, who’s used to women throwing themselves at him, is beyond tempted by Lydia when she turns him down flat every time.
I liked this tale of the buttoned up governess going head to head with a pirate. He’s used to getting his way but he’s also charming. Like he doesn’t steal from people, he talks them into giving him their cargo. Haha Of course Lydia can see right through that. She’s not cynical really, but she is on her guard and as an independent woman she knows how to take care of herself.
Robert is the third son of a peer and he’s returning to England because he’s inherited a title and an estate. His childhood home was not a happy one and he doesn’t look forward to returning. But he does vow to make it a happy place for Maddie. I like how Robert took to fatherhood. He has some interesting ideas on how to raise a young woman on a ship but Maddie loves it. Lydia too adapts her lessons to life at sea and some of the crew members start learning right beside Maddie. I like the way Darlene Marshall writes about the camaraderie on ships.
There are two parts to this book. There’s life on board, where Lydia and Robert get to know each other and then there’s the second part when they arrive in England. By this point Robert realizes he wants Lydia forever and ever and he won’t let her leave him and Maddie and he sets about wooing her. And slaying dragons from her past that are making her afraid to stay in England. *sigh*
All in all, I thought the Pirate’s Secret Baby was a great read. I would totally stow away on any ship Darlene writes about. LOL 4 out of 5
This book is available from Amber Quill Press. You can buy it here in e-format.